Andrew Hewson

"When doing Design work never expect second best and never be happy with it until you know you’ve explored every option."

Job Title: Head of Group Design

Employer: Story Homes Limited

Job: Design Manager

About my job

What does your department do?

Within the Technical Department, the Design team supports every function within Story Homes. The Design team work to help shape site layout proposals for a detailed land bid and all planning applications. The team works tirelessly to ensure our layouts meet the aspirations of each department and most importantly the end user. The team strives to ensure that no matter what the criteria is, the feel and external appearance of our layouts are always to a high quality. All house types are developed internally and time is spent ensuring the there is a broad range of living spaces to ensure there is a property for everyone, no matter their requirements. External elevations treatments of the house types are looked at individually to suit the surrounding area, ensuring an aspirational design. The Design team pull together a number of tender packs for our Commercial team, then work up a number of applications (Building Regulations, Warranty Provider, Robust Details, Street Name & Numbering) in time for a site start along with a full detailed construction pack. Individual designers are responsible for developments and are the point of contact for resolving site and sales queries.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

On a day-to-day basis I manage a team of seven Designers, prioritising workloads to meet our Business Plan. I will provide feedback on all Site Layout Proposals, from early concept stage to a final scheme. I will sign off on all house type and external finish proposals; attend a number of key meetings with our internal stakeholders and chair pre start meetings for handing over to site Production.

What do you like about what you do?

Within the area of Cumbria I have worked on a number of developments which have helped put Story Homes on the map in terms of being an aspirational house builder. We are currently reaching out into other Regions and have the opportunity to implement our successful business model into these new areas. We go that extra mile to ensure what we see on the ground has its own legacy and is not just another housing development.

Why did you choose this career?

I have also taken an interest in design and technology and upon leaving school an apprenticeship leading into becoming an Architectural Technician was an obvious step. On becoming a qualified Architectural Technician with the local council, I was then looking for that next progression and Story Homes was everything I hoped it would be. A great company to work for, part of a fantastic team, fast paced and rewards their staff.

What qualifications did you need to get this job?

As part of the architectural technician apprenticeship, I gained an ONC and HNC in Building Studies. At Story Homes I have taken on a number of roles gaining as much experience and knowledge as possible, which has enabled me to progress into becoming the Design Manager.

Is there any particular advice you would give to someone looking for a career in your area of work?

High standards and pride in all aspects of your work. It can also be the detail that you go into which makes you stand out above others. When doing Design work never expect second best and never be happy with it until you know you’ve explored every option. Respect your colleagues, as it is not just about yourself. Be a good people person, as in that role of Design you are often the one who has to balance everyone else’s expectations and still come out with an aspirational end product.

Questions & Answers

What hobbies or interests do you have?

Weekends away with my family. I have a wife and two children who I spend most of my spare time with. I enjoy socialising with friends, I am part of an over 35’s local football team and I also train my son’s under 5 football team.

What’s your favourite type of music?

The Beatles and 90’s Brit Pop, but mainly Oasis.

What’s your favourite film / film genre?

I enjoy legacy Trilogies like The Godfather, Rocky and Star Wars.

Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

I tend not to have one particular favourite, as we try and do something different each year for our kids to experience.